If the World Ends Somewhere, We Are Very Close to That Place


A country in northwestern Africa bordering the Atlantic Ocean, in the Sahel zone. Mauritania is mostly covered by the sands of Sahara (in more than 80%). It is the fourth most sensitive country in the world in terms of climate changes. The recurring cycles of long-term drought (resulting in degradation of natural resources) and the aggravating water deficit additionally contribute to lack of food safety, from which the country suffers. Although it is populated by only 4.4 million people, it is a classic example of the problem of hunger caused by poverty and insufficient production of food.

  • one of the poorest countries in the world – in some of its regions, people live off less than 1.25 USD per day
  • due to the food deficit, the country has to import 70% of its food
  • 21% of children below 5 years of age suffer from chronic malnutrition
  • 8% of the population in the dry season – which lasts even 6 months – copes with lack of food security
In 2023, we helped


children suffering from hunger or moderate malnutrition
We also provided medical care to about

a dozen

people with disabilities


It’s a bit like driving a rover on another planet. I’m not sure which one. Hot, sandy, harsh, and unjust. 90% of Mauritania is just desert sand. Dust has been hanging in the air for a good week. We cannot see the sky. Everything is in sepia — a single fixed shade that enters the eyes, bites the skin, irritates the nose.

If the world ends somewhere, we are very close to that place.

“The Islamic Republic of Mauritania has religion written into its constitution. There are no Christians among Mauritanians. Everyone practices Islam,” explains Father Martin Happe, the bishop of Nouakchott. Next to him sits Father Victor, the bishop-elect, who will receive episcopal ordination in April and replace the retiring Bishop Happe.

The Catholic mission in this country is merely and entirely about being present, about engaging in social projects. Any form of evangelization would violate the rights written in the constitution.

We eat dinner together. In a modest house, not resembling a bishop’s residence. Father Happe sets the table, he scolds us when we get up to help. “You can do that when I come to your place.” We talk about how kindness begets kindness, respect begets respect. That one needs to listen to be heard and that these are the most important principles that allow a handful of Christians from other countries to be here.

Bishop Happe, Sister Ewa, and missionaries from Atar and Kaédi teach us about Mauritania. We won’t change the customs and the culture because, in Mauritania, they are more than sacred. We won’t solve the problems, we won’t remedy the injustice. We are only allowed to be here, to listen, and to heal wounds. For us, that is “only”. For the people of Mauritania, thus “only” means saving the life of another child who, without our presence here, would die of hunger.

Urgent Help Needed

Save the Pharmacy for the Poorest in Togo

This amount will allow for equipping pharmacy shelves for the first half of the year. Ania and Mateusz will take care of this, and they will fly to Togo in February and fill the shelves with the most essential antibiotics, antimalarial drugs, and pain relievers. The Saoudé Pharmacy has people to save. It cannot succeed without your support.

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We already have :
3,420 EUR
We need:
6,667 EUR